Creating a home gym is more popular than ever. Even people who like to work out in fitness centers don’t always have time to make the trek. When that happens to you, having a space set aside for working out at home makes it easier to stay in shape. As you select equipment ranging from free weights to fitness mats, make sure these four essentials are on the list.
A Hack Squat Machine
Hack squats are great for building and toning the muscles in your legs and even help a bit with the abdominal muscles. The right type of hack squat machine will include comfortable padded arms that will rest on your shoulders and prevent any chafing as you move upward from the squatting position and then back down again. Look for a machine that makes it easy to adjust the amount of weight or resistance. You can start with a lower amount and then gradually increase it as you increase the strength of your calfs, glutes, and hamstrings.
It’s hard to think of a gym essential that’s more useful than several fitness mats. They are ideal for using when you do a round of pushups, straddle hops, or a round of situps without a bench. Always make sure the mats have shells that are easy to wipe down and clean. Since you are likely to work up quite a sweat, it also helps to make sure the shell is made of something that will not get slippery.
Pull Up Bar
While the hack squat machine will do quite a bit for your lower body, it’s important to include equipment that will help tone and define your arms, shoulders, and chest. Along with weights, having a pull-up bar on hand is a great asset. The bar should be firmly installed at a height that makes it necessary to jump up slightly. Once it’s in place, your body weight helps to create the resistance as you perform pull-ups, arm curls, chin-ups, and other similar exercises. Depending on how you grip the bar, you’ll give certain muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, and neck more of a workout.
A good quality jump rope is also a must for your home gym. There are a few pieces of equipment that are easier to use and happen to provide a great cardiovascular workout. You can use it to do some warmup exercises or include jumping rope as part of the cool down process. Remember to jump rope on one of your fitness mats instead of the bare floor, since the mat will absorb some of the shocks to your legs.
There are other pieces of equipment you will want to add over time. A good weight bench that you can use before or after the hack squat machine will make it easier to work the body from head to toe. Add on a treadmill and you will have plenty of variety to keep the workout interesting and fun. Use your new home gym at least a few times each week and it won’t take long to see and feel the benefits.